Why Canadian sports gamblers bet in the UK

Betting fans in the UK are blessed with a hugely varied and competitive sports betting market, and Britain can be considered the envy of the sports betting world, given betting and online gaming are often far more restrictive in other nations, not least in Canada.

Whilst sports betting has been officially legal in the UK for nearly 60 years, bettors in other countries aren’t as lucky. Gambling on sports is particularly restrictive in Canada, which has therefore inspired many sports fans to cast their sights further afield when they are looking to place a wager on some sporting action.

Given the vast array of bookmakers and markets available to bet on in Britain, thousands of Canadians are choosing to bet with UK companies. Whilst Canada's loss is clearly the UK’s gain (if we’re talking tax revenue dollars) it’s worth examining just how Canadian bettors ended up contributing millions to the UK sports betting market.

Canada; The Current Laws

Whilst Canadians are renowned for the friendly and somewhat liberal culture, sports betting has found a somewhat frostier atmosphere with Canadian regulators. Although sports betting is permitted, there are several restrictions which mean that Canadians are much more limited in how they can bet. Legislation isn’t always clear, but one key part of the Canadian Criminal Code prohibits individual Canadians from offering betting services to other citizens. Regional governments on the other hand can offer gaming services, but these remain limited when compared to UK standards, and interpretation varies across different Canada’s provinces.

This legal grey area also includes online betting, and this has in turn prompted thousands of Canadian sports betting fans to hedge their bets overseas, rather than run the risk of run-ins with the law due to unclear legislation.

Why are Canadian Sports betting fans looking across the pond?

Canada has been independent from Britain for decades, but their linked heritage includes a common language, family ties and a shared monarch. Another cultural similarity between Canada and its mother country is a love of sports, and whilst Canadians prefer ice hockey, and Brits love soccer, sports betting is wildly popular in both nations.

The UK however offers a much more impressive sports betting market than domestic Canadian services, with several bet types, sports and markets-that are commonly found in the UK, not permitted in Canada.

One such restriction regarded as a bugbear for many Canadian sports fans is the limit on single game betting, with at least a two game accumulator, or paylay, required if any Canadian wants to make a bet on a specific sporting event. For committed sports bettors, it’s therefore a no brainer to turn to UK- based gambling providers who offer a much higher range of products, odds and markets to wager on.

Given the growing cross-Atlantic appeal of the English Premier League, as well as emerging sports like Esports and Virtual Sports. interest in sports betting across Canada is accelerating, inspiring a new wave of Canadian punters to turn to long-established British betting brands with the aim of sourcing betting information related to those sports where little betting information is available in their own country,

It’s also worth noting that UK bookmakers offer a wide range of betting promotions for beginners, as well as useful sports betting guides for beginners, which are undoubtedly becoming more of an attractive proposition for Canadians to explore. This rings particularly true for those looking to discover betting on some of the emerging sports listed above, or even traditional UK sports like Cricket that looks to be garnering increasing popularity, particularly in places like Toronoto.

What does the future hold?

Famed for its liberal attitude, Canada has been something of a trailblazer in regards to what it permits within society. Same-sex marriage has been legal for nearly 20 years, and under the leadership of incumbent Justin Trudeau, other measures like legalising cannabis have also occurred. Whilst some Canadian lawmakers may have personal opinions regarding sports betting, it’s clear that the opportunity to regulate and ultimately tax the market has not been lost on the nation’s politicians. Even the most puritanical Canadian would struggle to argue against a government reaping tax benefits from a regulated and monitored market, just as with cannabis, where tax income can in turn be spent to address welfare issues in society.

Photo: Mitch Rosen, Unsplash